Philip Kurian

Dr. Philip Kurian is a theoretical physicist, (re)search(ing) scientist, and essayist, serving as principal investigator and founding director of the Quantum Biology Laboratory ( at Howard University. Beginning his career as a math teacher in North Philadelphia, and then completing his doctorate in physics at Howard after a stint at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Dr. Kurian is now the recipient of fellowships, grants, and awards from the U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission, Argonne and Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facilities, Guy Foundation, Whole Genome Science Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health. His laboratory studies how collective and cooperative quantum behaviors can explain biological phenomena at the mesoscopic, organismal, and clinical scales, including in neurodegeneration, cancer, and human consciousness.

In 2020 the Quantum Biology Laboratory became the first group in the U.S. and third in the world to receive a scientific grant from the UK-based Guy Foundation, and the lab’s expertise is solicited regularly by federal agencies, national academies, and private foundations. In 2021 Dr. Kurian was appointed as a lead expert and organizer for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine workshop on quantum-enabled sensing and imaging for biology. In 2022 he became a Simons Scholar and Senior Fellow at the UCLA Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics, developing advanced theory and methods to understand complex, open, and excited quantum systems. Dr. Kurian also serves as a scientific advisor to the “Science for Seminaries” program of the AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion, which seeks to integrate frontier science questions into conversations among future theologians and clergy. His essays on science, human knowledge systems, empire, and spirituality have appeared in various media outlets, including the Los Angeles Review of BooksGranta, and Plough.